- Israel's Redefine Meat, which makes 3D printed plant-based steaks, raised $135 million in an investment round, according to Israeli business publication Globes. The round, made up of many existing investors, was led by Hanaco Ventures and Synthesis Capital, the publication reported. It brings Redefine Meat's total funding to $180 million.
- The company launched its New-Meat whole-cut steaks and lamb chops last year at several high-end restaurants in Israel, the U.K., Germany and the Netherlands. The products are available at 200 restaurants in Israel now, according to Globes. The publication said that the new funds will be used to help Redefine Meat's further global expansion. The company has said previously that bringing products to the U.S. was on deck for 2022.
- Most plant-based meat right now is not whole cut, and products that are tend to use high moisture extrusion to try to mimic the structure and texture of meat. Redefine Meat uses 3D printing technology as a new way to build plant protein into the form, texture and mouthfeel consumers expect in meat.
It seems 2022 is going to be a banner year for new formats for plant-based food. As companies such as Redefine Meat are able to have a wider rollout of their products, the number of traditional meat and dairy items that will have plant-based alternative options is growing.
Redefine Meat was formally founded in 2018 by Eshchar Ben-Shitrit, who had previously worked in 3D printing and wanted to create a steak he could feel good about eating. The company spent years developing different plant-based ingredient blends — known as Alt-Muscle, Alt-Fat and Alt-Blood — to use in a customized 3D printer that can build a multilayered plant-based steak. These blends, it has been reported, use ingredients including pea protein, soy, beetroot, chickpeas and coconut fat.
New-Meat is currently sold at some of the top restaurants in Europe, where a video from the company shows it has impressed several chefs. And New-Meat has received good reviews from consumers — including ones who don't know they are eating something meat-free. Last January, as Redefine Meat announced its partnership with Israeli meat distributor Best Meister, the company conducted a blind taste test, selling almost 1,000 servings made with New-Meat out of a food truck and telling consumers as they ate that they were all plant-based. According to the company, more than nine in 10 consumers said the products were comparable to animal meat on metrics including taste, texture and mouthfeel. A Guardian reporter who attended a tasting at one of British celebrity chef Marco Pierre White's restaurants reported these products were "gamechangers."
When and how Redefine Meat's products make it to the United States is not known, but the appetite for offerings like them is growing. Nearly two-thirds of consumers said they have eaten plant-based meat alternatives in the last year, according to a November report from the International Food Information Council. An additional 12% said they would like to try them. And the vast majority of people who eat plant-based meat today are not vegetarians or vegans — 98% of those who bought meat alternatives in 2019 also bought meat, according to a NielsenIQ report. These products certainly match the description of being like meat; Ben-Shitrit told The Guardian that vegans have complained Redefine Meat's products are too meat-like.
Redefine Meat's products will be in good company on U.S. fine dining menus. Singapore's Next Gen Foods, which has won over high-end chefs in Asia and Europe with its Tindle plant-based chicken, is looking to make its mark on the U.S. fine dining scene this year. And domestic companies that make meat analogs through fermentation, including Meati Foods and The Better Meat Company, have also had successful trials of their whole-cut steak analogs at restaurants.